"We have lost one of our greatest"
Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76. The world of entertainment has spoken out to pay tribute.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed by her family that she was ‘seriously ill’ and in ‘hospice care surrounded by her family‘.
“Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute,” reads a statement from the family.
“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
They added: “We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
In a legendary career spanning more than five decades as a soul superstar, Aretha has won 18 Grammy awards, shifted more than 75 million records and performed at three presidential inaugurations – including that of Barack Obama in January 2009 (see his tribute to Franklin below).
Her last record came in the form of 2017’s ‘A Brand New Me’, shortly before she announced her retirement.
“I must tell you, I am retiring this year. I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now”, she confirmed at the time.
Since news of her passing broke, tributes from the world of entertainment, politics and beyond have started to pour in.
Read NME’s full tribute and obituary to Aretha Franklin here.